October 23, 2017

Economic Monitor: CUs prepared for disasters, pessimistic about growth

NAFCU's latest Economic & CU Monitor survey report indicates credit unions are relatively prepared for disaster. This month's survey probed respondents on their credit union's ability to handle unanticipated service disruptions as a result of events including inclement and catastrophic weather and cyberattacks.

The survey found that roughly 56 percent of respondents had never had to use their credit unions' business continuity plans, though 11 percent had used their plans five or more times. One-third of respondents said they've initiated their business continuity plans in the past 12 months.

Of those who have initiated the plans at some point, only 5 percent reported "significant" disruption to member services.

Additionally, the Monitor survey found that 69 percent of respondents test their disaster readiness plans annually, with 19 percent testing them multiple times a year. Common components of business continuity plans include utilizing mobile branching, strategies to replenish ATMs, offering services to non-members and sharing resources and services with other credit unions.

Also included in the Economic & CU Monitor are the results from the October Credit Union Sentiment Index (CUSI), an index based on NAFCU member responses to eight questions on growth and earnings outlook, lending conditions and regulatory burden.

Although the CUSI declined in October, three of the four component scores rose from September. The strongest increase came in the regulatory component, as respondents felt less pessimistic about the future of regulation. The only decline was in the growth component, which fell to its lowest score in the five months NAFCU has conducted the survey.

NAFCU members are encouraged to participate in the association's surveys. Next month's Monitor will focus on cybersecurity. Credit unions can fill out the survey online; responses are due by Nov. 3.